“Never demand revenge, but justice. Law and justice, in the end, are stronger than chaos and thuggery, but we must be patient.”
Words said by the late Bosnian President Alija Izetbegovic, some doubted them, others believed them, but all Bosnians now hope that they will come true with the approaching date of the final judgment on the “Butcher of the Balkans,” General Ratko Mladic responsible for the massacres committed against Bosnian Muslims during what became known as The Balkan War. Read also Foreign Policy: In Bosnia, the wounds of genocide will never heal Where are you going, Aida? A new Bosnian film recalls the details of the Srebrenica massacre A quarter of a century after the Srebrenica massacre, genocide denial increases the pain of survivors Stories of the years of embers in Bosnia.. This is how reporters lived the siege of Sarajevo
History drenched in blood
On this occasion, it is necessary to learn about the tainted history of the serial killer, his most important massacres against innocent Bosnians in Srebrenica and elsewhere, and the course of the cases brought against him at the International Criminal Court.
From his youth, Mladic chose the military path. He joined the Military Industrial School, then graduated from the Military Infantry Academy in Belgrade, then the War Staff Academy, and became an officer in the ranks of the Yugoslav army. He was known for his complete loyalty to the communist authority, and was known for his extreme cruelty even with those close to him.
With the collapse of communism, the beginning of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and with the Serbs seeking to use force to realize the dream of a Greater Serbia, opportunities opened up for him to occupy important military leadership positions. As a field commander, Mladic made sure to leave his bloodstained fingerprints on every spot he came to.
In September 1991, as part of the Yugoslav army, he was appointed commander of the Fifth Corps in the Knin region, west of newly declared independent Croatia. Together with his forces, he bombed Croatian cities with tanks, and committed horrific massacres.
When, in April 1992, he was appointed commander of the Yugoslav Second Army based in Sarajevo, he personally led the imposition of a tight siege around the city of Sarajevo that lasted 1,425 days.
Bosnian Serb Army
Then he completed his crimes against the Bosnian capital, after his appointment on May 12 as commander of what was called the “Bosnian Serb Army” at the time, and he carried out systematic operations to terrorize the residents of Sarajevo through snipers who were trained for this purpose, in addition to bombing the city with bombs and missiles extensively, which resulted in killing more than Over 10,000 people were killed in markets, in water queues and in front of bakeries, including 1,601 children who were killed while playing in front of their homes and in the yards of their schools.
Through his leadership of the “Bosnia Serb Army” until the end of 1995, Mladic was able to expand his crimes file, to include more than 15 municipalities within Bosnia and Herzegovina.
However, the major crime – to which the name “The Butcher of the Balkans” is associated, is what is known in the media, but it is in fact much more terrible than that.
During the period from 11 to 22 July 1995, he and his soldiers committed the most heinous crimes against the defenseless residents of Srebrenica, the genocide of Bosniak Muslims. The butcher and his soldiers systematically killed 8,372 Muslims, displaced families, and terrified children. And they committed crimes unknown to history before. They killed infants, cut open the stomachs of pregnant women, and raped elderly women over seventy years of age.